By Megan Bianco
Two months ago, audiences got a silly grown-up retelling of Hansel and Gretel, Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters, with Oscar nominee Jeremy Renner and British actress Gemma Arterton. This month brings Warner Brothers’ live-action new vision of Jack and the Beanstalk called Jack the Giant Slayer, with newly rising star, Nicholas Hoult, established movie veteran, Ewan McGregor and favorite character actor Stanley Tucci.
This revamped version includes Jack (Hoult), a wimpy farm boy with heart, Elmont (McGregor) is an Errol Flynn-esque hero with brawn, and Isabelle (Eleanor Tomlinson), the princess at the top of the beanstalk waiting to be rescued. Then there’s the Basil Rathbone-like villain (Tucci) Elmont has to defeat, and of course, there are also giants galore to be slain.
Co-starring Bill Nighy, Ian McShane and Ewen Bremner and directed by Bryan Singer of X-Men fame, Jack the Giant Slayer features CGI of the Hobbit variety and a love story similar to a Disney film. McGregor seems to phone in his performance, while Hoult is a bit too dweeby for an underdog hero. But Tucci plays a fine villain, and Tomlinson is given her own armor and horse rather than just being left in distress. Giant Slayer doesn’t bring anything new to the table direction or story wise, but it is an easy go-to flick for parents looking to entertain their kids.